Well, I think I’ve gone through a second pair of waders in as many years. It’s my own fault as I did not follow the tip I am about to share. But… I’ve learned my lesson and will heed this advice next spring.
When I was fishing on Dog Creek, the guide (Steve Bertrand) and I walked along a railbed until we got to the spot where he wanted to move to the river. I glanced down and only saw a tangled mess of tall, interlaced bushes. He saw a path… a small path.. and hopped right down.
I watched as he whipped out a pair of small garden shears and in less than a minute had trimmed back the brush to the point where we could work our way through. All I could think of was the mess of rose bushes with dinosaur sized thorns that line the banks of most of the Maryland streams I like to fish in. The Patuxent is a classic example! The stream is lined with row after row of rose bushes that form a last line of defense for the fish in the river… a Maginot Line of fortifications that will fight hard to keep you back and inflict grevious wounds in your wader if you charge forward too quickly.
In fact, that’s where I poked my first hole in my waders this year and the holes have kept coming.
Next season, I am going to follow the example that Steve set and grab a pair of shears when I head out. Maybe I can get a pair of waders to last without endless patching!
I saw a cool pair of shears in Outdoor Life. It’s a leatherman model that combines the shears with other normal tools – so you can consolidate other stuff you carry into this one tool. It’s the Leatherman Vista model. The drawback is that while it has a lot of stuff built in, it looks like it is heavy and pricy. I did a search on Amazon for smaller pruners and found the model below – it weighs only 4.8 oz.
But – you probably already have something that will do just fine. Raid your wife’s garden bucket and grab what’s there – no need to spend money on this stuff when you can go to the fly shop and buy more of those flies designed to attract fishermen more than the fish!
Patuxent in early spring – ALL the vegetation here is prickers!
Unless stated otherwise, this article was authored by Steve Moore